Every single ingredient in SNACK is good for you—and we promise that’s not an overstatement. All of the ingredients in all of our superfood cluster blends are nutrient-dense, whole foods without extra sugars and other additives. Whether hitting the highest bar for plant-based protein and dietary fiber or packing the biggest punch in heart-healthy fats and diabetic-friendly carbohydrates, SNACK superfood clusters are loaded with vitamins, minerals, all essential and non-essential amino acids, and tons of antioxidants to boot.
Don’t worry, we won’t make you find the back-up info on all of these benefits for yourselves. In this earlier post, we walked through the numerous benefits of Spirulina, the superfood warrior, and the key ingredient of SNACK foods. In another one, we share why the experts sing matcha’s praises. Now, in this post here, we’ll dive into everything else. Because really, each one of these super-ingredients does a super job of keeping your body not just fed but truly nourished.
Sunflower seeds and flax
Seeds are one of those sneakily robust foods—they’re so small that you don’t necessarily expect much from them, but in fact, they knock nutrition out of the park. How? Seeds are built to have all of the components necessary to grow into a full-fledged plant. The fact that they’ve remained seeds means that you get the benefit of those plants’ expanded value in a much smaller package. In flaxseeds, we’re talking fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. We’re also talking polyphenols, namely lignans, which are important antioxidants that fight cell damage from free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.
In sunflower seeds, you find high levels of protein, monounsaturated (read: healthy) fats and omega-6 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These seeds have been linked to reducing inflammation and, like flaxseeds, lowering blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Vitamin E in particular is notable because most Americans don’t get enough of it, and it’s a crucial vitamin for maintaining strong cellular membranes—the strength of which affects the health of our skin and hair, among other things.
Almonds and cashews
Like seeds, nuts are full of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re incredibly satiating, meaning that they help you stay fuller for longer while providing plenty of energy. They’ve got lots of phytochemicals (this is where the antioxidants come in) that not only have anti-oxidative effects, but also have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, cancer-preventing, and cholesterol-lowering properties. Following in sunflower seeds’ footsteps, almonds specifically also have lots of vitamin E—just one ounce, or 23 almonds, provides 37 percent of the recommended daily intake. As with vitamin E, most people also don’t get enough magnesium, but almonds and cashews have lots of it. Magnesium is important for helping to control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, having an effect on people with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cashews also are high in copper—not something you find too often—which plays a big role in bone health and maintaining connective tissues, collagen, and elastin. One ounce, roughly 18 cashews, provides the average adult with more than two-thirds of the recommended daily amount.
Going back as far as Ancient Egypt, and maybe even before, the cinnamon spice has been used by populations for its wonderful flavor and prized medicinal benefits. Cinnamon’s distinct smell and flavor come from a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which scientists think is responsible for most of the spice’s health benefits as well. We mention antioxidants a lot on this list—which is part of why these foods are on this list and used in SNACK products to begin with!—and we’ll mention them again here because cinnamon has got tons and tons of them, which help it to be an agent in combatting inflammation, reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, lowering blood sugar and fighting diabetes, and fighting fungal and bacterial infections—including bad breath and tooth decay. (Thank goodness.)
You’ll find berries on every list of superfoods, but blueberries top them all. First, they have the most vitamins and nutrients of any type of berry. Second, they are jam-packed with phytochemicals and incredible amounts of antioxidants, namely their rich anthocyanin pigments, which have been linked to lowering inflammation as well as reducing the risk of all the biggies: heart disease, diabetes, and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Seen in nearly every market, grocery store, and fruit stall the world over, bananas have proliferated diets across the globe. Thankfully, their dietary benefits have, too. They are comprised of nearly all water and natural carbohydrates, making their nutrient makeup consist primarily of fiber—a specifically useful fiber called pectin—and vitamins. (Don’t worry they have antioxidants, too!) The fiber, plus some of the fruit’s starch, makes them a great digestive aid; combine the fiber with bananas’ natural sugars and you get good moderators of blood sugar levels. The vitamins and minerals, like potassium, are great for lowering the risk of heart disease as well as aiding nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and recovery, and relieve soreness.
Adding another fiber buff to the list, we’ve got apricots—one cup has a whopping 3g of fiber! Fiber is important for improving digestion, revving up our metabolism, and keeping constipation at a far-away bay. Enough fiber keeps us feeling full, which helps regulate our diet and maintain balance. Apricots also have lots of antioxidants and vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E, and iron, which improve skin and eye health.
Apples may be one of the first fruits we learn about health-wise, considering how many times we hear one famous phrase about eating apples and going to the doctor (or not going, rather) when we were little. Well, there’s a reason for that: Apples are a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit full of good vitamins, nutrients, and polyphenols. The fiber makes them a particularly filling snack, without being too high in calories but with a low glycemic index. The polyphenols in apples have antioxidant properties, which lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Another apple antioxidant, quercetin, has also been found to have neuroprotective properties. On top of all that, apples’ pectin fiber is a prebiotic, meaning it helps promote the growth of good gut bacteria, which aids digestion and reduces the risk of obesity.
And we cannot forget about cherries. As you’ve likely picked up on by now, cherries’ superfood status comes from having fiber, vitamins, and minerals galore—including the all-important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. The fiber content keeps your gut healthy, while the high potassium levels do their work on muscle health and recovery, optimizing nerve function, and lowering blood pressure. Cherries also contain melatonin, a natural phytochemical which helps regulate our bodies’ sleep-wake cycles.
Rounding out this immense list of super-ingredients and their benefits, there are even more advantages and goodness on the SNACK table: Our grain-free superfood clusters offer a fantastic alternative to granola and trail mix, which typically involve tons of added sugars that can end up negating the nutritional benefits of the other ingredients involved. SNACK clusters, on the other hand, keep the satisfying shape, crunch, and sweetness of things like granola and trail mix, but with sweetness coming naturally from the dried fruits alone.
Enjoy all of this nutritious excellence as a SNACK on its own (see what we did there?) or with fruit, yogurt, or a smoothie for a grain-free, granola-like crunch – with no added sugar! As we always say, if it’s GREEN, it’s GOOD. And judging by the list above, it’s very definitely GOOD.